Life is hectic. A demanding work schedule and steady stream of social commitments can leave you run-down and exhausted, which is the last thing you need when you’re trying to make and maintain a consistent workout routine. If you’re looking to get into better shape and need a boost of energy to ensure you make it to the gym on a regular basis, here are some tips and tricks for keeping your energy levels up and your metabolism cranking—which will not only keep you motivated, but also help you achieve better results.
1. SET A SLEEP ALARM
There’s a reason sleep deprivation is a form of torture—your body can’t function properly without adequate rest. Getting the right amount of sleep—seven or more hours for adults—is critical for healthy energy levels and mental function. Insufficient sleep not only makes you more lethargic, but it can also affect your health. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it. It’s a good way to ensure you’re getting enough rest every night, and getting up and going to bed at the same time every day helps you feel less tired. If you tend to burn the midnight oil, train yourself out of the habit by setting a bedtime alarm on your phone. Even when you have every intention of going to bed early, it’s all too easy to get distracted by work, TV or the Internet. Before you know it, it’s 1 a.m. Having something remind you that it’s time to hit the sack every night at 11 p.m. can help you get into the habit of going to bed early enough to get the restorative slumber you need.
2. GET YOUR BLOOD FLOWING
Though it can feel like a drag to hit the gym when your to-do list and jam-packed schedule have you running on fumes, exercise actually helps you feel more energized and can help you conquer your week. Aim to exercise at least three times weekly to help keep your metabolism operating at full speed. For an extra boost, you can take a thermogenic supplement that contains caffeine just before your workout. These formulas can help enhance your metabolism and give you an extra energy lift to keep you going through your sweat session and the rest of your day.
3. EAT SMALL AMOUNTS OF THE RIGHT FOOD ALL DAY
A great way to keep your metabolism going is to eat five or six small meals throughout the day. Energy comes from the food we eat and, the more nutritious your diet, the more long-lasting the energy it will provide. Ditch sugary snacks and drinks and load up on nourishing fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean protein. Protein supplies your body with amino acids that make up your muscles and replenish them after exercise. Smaller, more frequent meals and adequate protein throughout the day help keep your metabolism running properly—plus, protein satisfies your appetite and helps keep you full and energized. Not getting enough nutrition throughout the day may negatively impact your mood, energy, metabolism, muscle function and cell growth and repair. It’s also important to eat breakfast and avoid fasting for long periods of time.
4. FORTIFY YOUR HEART AND YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
A hectic, stressful schedule often leads to habits that are harmful to your heart health and immune system. To avoid falling into this trap, focus on eating fish and antioxidant-rich foods, like berries, nuts and dark, leafy greens. Fatty fish like salmon, trout and mackerel contain EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid that has been found to play an integral role in heart health, and antioxidants help protect your cells and tissue from oxidative stress that can support your immune system. When you’re strong and healthy, it makes it easier to be your best, strongest, most motivated self. If you’re not sure you’re getting enough antioxidants and EPA in your diet, fish oil and antioxidant supplements can help.
5. LOOK OUT FOR YOUR LIBIDO
A healthy sex life is an integral part of general wellness, not an afterthought or a bonus. Exercising regularly and consuming heart-healthy foods—like fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, skinless poultry and fish, and nuts and legumes—helps blood flow properly, which is crucial for optimal vitality. If you’re looking for more ways to keep your libido healthy, try supplementing with l-arginine, an amino acid that helps maintain blood vessel tone and plays a key role in sex.